Friday, August 27, 2010

Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

Jane Mayer's The New Yorker article on Charles and David Koch. They have financed libertarian propaganda with more than 100 million dollars over more than 30 years. They founded and control the major libertarian think tanks Cato, Reason, Mercatus, and others. See: Koch think tanks at SourceWatch.

Posted in the Criticisms of the Cato Institute and Criticisms of George Mason U. Economics (and Mercatus) indexes.


Chris said...

Thanks for this link. The scope and reach of the Koch's efforts at class warfare took my breath away.

So they engineered these high profile think tanks and mostly orchestrated the Tea Party movement. Astonishing.

What do you think of all this, Mike? Your site opposes the philosophy of some of America's richest plutocrats. What will it take to push back against efforts like the Koch's?

Mark Plus said...

Apparently the Koch brothers don't see the irony of using their fortune to force Austrian economics on the U.S., a doctrine that the market rejects otherwise. (At least Ayn Rand's novels keep selling on their own, despite their weirdness and low quality.) Even private universities generally don't hire Austrian economists as professors because Austrians promote urban legends and conspiracy theories about how the economy works.

And what about Hayek's emphasis on the spontaneous, organic development of society? That goes by the wayside when you have > $100 million at your disposal to engage in social engineering.

David Fetter said...

8 years after the Libertarian Party began, Koch ran for president. He got trounced, of course, but could he have created this party just for this run at political office?

Mark Plus said...

I've coined the phrase "kept Austrians," analogous to "kept women," to describe the Austrian economists like Peter Boettke who live as, er, "clients" of businessmen like the Koch brothers (though I can think of a more vulgar term to describe these professors, derived from prison culture).

David Fetter said...

Punk Austrians? Love it!

Joanna Liberation said...

Yes, and Obama has the right to spend billions of tax dollars on non-Austrian think tanks and education organisations. Obama does not like competition, even a tiny one like Kochs, microscopic compared to Obama's government propaganda expenditures. As Mark Plus above has said, "even private universities generally don't hire Austrian economists as professors", so you can imagine how much money goes to Austrian economists in public universities.

Bad, bad capitalists, they should refrain from sponsoring any political movements, just pay their taxes so that government does that for them.

Mike Huben said...

Ooo, Joanna, tell me where to sign up for some of that billions of non-Austrian think-tank money from Obama!

It is to our government's good reputation that it doesn't employ pseudoscientific crank Austrians. Governments like Texas have a bad reputation because they employ creationist and revisionist cranks on their state school board.

As for whether billionaire capitalists should sponsor movements, the question is whether they distort democratic rule. If you're stupid enough to think they don't distort democracy, that you're on a level playing field with them, then you are not worth talking to.

Joanna Liberation said...

Mike, so basically hiring people with your ideology makes for "good reputation", otherwise it "distorts democracy". Polylogic thinking at its best.

Frank said...

No complaints or "critique" about Soros? Come on folks...where's the tit for tat...pot calling kettle black?

Frank said...'re too kind. They're the ones not worth talking to...they CAN'T hear know what their ears are full of.